Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ashley Madison Files Trademark Infringement Lawsuit in Canada Against Gripe Sites

Avid Dating Life, Inc., the company behind the extramarital affair dating website, has filed suit in a Canadian court against Dennis Bradshaw and Lena Karachun – the purported owners of the gripe websites and (Complaint here; Courthousenews coverage here).

I don’t know how Canadian courts handle this kind of case up north, but down here, we would call this a pretty strong example of a) non-commercial, fair use of a party’s trademark and b) using allegations of trademark infringement in a lawsuit to quash the lawful exercise of free speech.

Of course, is it really no surprise that a company whose entire business model is established around encouraging extra-marital affairs would resort to a such a questionable course of action in order to obtain possession of some gripe website domain names (and removing some criticism of its services at the same time).

For more information about the trademark infringement implications of gripe sites, I recommend the following online resources:

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